Kevin Mahogany Sings Big Joe Turner

Mahogany’s resemblance to Turner is more physical than vocal. While matching Big Joe’s large, expansive frame, Mahogany is more dulcet crooner than blues shouter, closer in spirit to another vocalist he feted four years ago on his Mahogany Music label, Johnny Hartman. But Mahogany did play a Turner-Jimmy Rushing composite in Robert Altman’s film, Kansas City, and as recently as last year was playing Turner tribute gig at Birdland in New York with the likes of saxophonist Red Holloway and pianist Cyrus Chestnut. While not quite so star-studded, the lineup at the Dakota includes a gloriously gutbucket rhythm section of Blue Note and Groove Merchant recording artists Reuben Wilson on the B-3 organ, Grant Green’s son, Grant Green Jr., on guitar, and renowned session and ex-Living Colour drummer JT Lewis—and vocalist Kathy Kosins to boot. But the main attraction remains Mahogany who in addition to the Turner material has done albums devoted to romantic ballads, big band standards and Motown hits, and unearthed the essential strengths of every style while showcasing his own silky baritone. Listening to this ace band launch into “Roll ‘Em Pete,” “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” or other standards associated with Turner will likely open the spigot on the more freewheeling side of his nature.

July 21st & 22nd, 7pm & 9:30pm, Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Downtown Minneapolis, $20-$25